Ilya Bryzgalov is clearly not that rock in the net Coyotes fans had during the regular season. But he wasn't the only one to come up short in the Phoenix Coyotes' frustrating loss to Detroit Monday night at Jobing.com Arena.
The Red Wings scored all four goals inside the first three minutes of all three periods, and played well enough to keep the Coyotes from grabbing momentum. The fast starts to periods, including goals 44 seconds apart by Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller in the first period and Johan Franzen on a breakaway 45 seconds into the third, cost Phoenix dearly.
Valtteri Filppula added his goal 2:50 into the second period, and now the Red Wings can finish off the Desert Dogs Wednesday night, and possibly close the curtain on the NHL in the Valley.
But that issue is for exploration when the postseason is over for the Coyotes. And coach Dave Tippett was only talking about the game that night when it was over.
"You've got to come out with that same desperation," Tippett said of Game 4 in two days. "It was very disappointing what happened at the start of the night, it wasn't disappointing from an effort point of view but we gave up those two quick goals. One goes off one of our guys' pants and redirects and the other one's going wide and finds a way in the net. We probably couldn't have asked for any worse start."
Tippett said the Coyotes came out with energy but got "kicked in the teeth" with the two early goals.
"We have to turn that will into having some success on the scoreboard," he said. "You're excited about playing the game and two really nothing shots go in."
A sellout crowd of 17,130 roared for the home team -- most of them, anyway, except for the smattering of Red Wings fans throughout the wide swaths of the WhiteOut -- and walked out disappointed. The Coyotes trailed by no less than two goals for virtually the entire game.
David Schlemko and Ray Whitney scored on power plays for Phoenix, which had 30 shots on the Red Wings' Jimmy Howard. The power play success in the past two games is really the only positive for the Coyotes thus far in the series.
Tippett said all of his players are competing hard, and that he doesn't plan to bench Bryzgalov for Game 4.
"Bryz got us to this point. We'll rely on him to get us out of this," Tippett said. "There's been some times where we could give him more help."
The chances were there for the Coyotes, but not enough were finished. The game was physical, with the Coyotes being more the aggressors.
"We knew if we could get off to a good start, it would help us," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said, then was asked about letting up some on Wednesday to try and close out the series in Michigan.
"Why would you play more games than you have to?" Babcock said.